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Maplewood's Food Truck Discussion Attracts Media Attention

Three Missouri news outlets weighed in on the council's discussion and the outcome.

 City Council drew attention from the media when it discussed food trucks at its Monday meeting.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch ran an article the next day, quoting Maplewood city manager Martin Corcoran that the food truck issue is dead, "as of tonight."

Mayor Jim White and council members Barry Greenberg, Fred Wolf and Karen Wood were listed as opposed "because they were worried the trucks could “cannibalize” the local restaurants’ business," the article stated.

Corcoran is quoted that it would take four votes to pass, and as of Monday, they weren't there.

The St. Louis Business Journal summarized the meeting in an article on Thursday. Councilmember David Cerven, who said in the meeting he's for food trucks, was quoted in the article. Jeannine Beck,  director, and Adrian Glass, owner of  told why they are against.

"Maplewood doesn't have the capacity nor the foot traffic to support those and traditional restaurants, especially around lunchtime," Glass is quoted in the St. Louis Business Journal article.

The Show-Me-Daily, which comments on Missouri public policy, criticized that the council confused the word, "cannibalism" used in the meeting, "with another “c” word that is vital to any market-driven society: competition." The article states government shouldn't put "limitations on ingenuity and entrepreneurship."

(The Show-Me-Daily stated a vote was taken, which is incorrect.)

, and how the council stood on the issue.

Michelle Seymour June 15, 2012 at 01:07 PM
It's really too bad food trucks are viewed so negatively. There are many food trucks around the city that actually bring business to an area. Food trucks would only bring more business into Maplewood, they wouldn't steal business away. If people come into Maplewood to eat at one of their favorite trucks, afterwards they might want coffee so they would head over to Foundation Grounds or Stone Spiral for a drink. They might pass some of our boutiques, like Maven, and pop in for an impulse jewelry or candle purchase, they might be in the mood for chocolate and go to delicious Kakao to satisfy their craving. The more time people spend in Maplewood the more they will love it. Then, when they are trying to think of a fun restaurant to visit, they will come back to our Maplewood restaurants and everyone wins.
Chris Mallie June 15, 2012 at 02:27 PM
I'm not against the trucks per se (other than I don't think any of them offer much value), but I disagree with Michelle. Unless they are truly fixtures, they really only siphon business, because they *tend* to show up during lunch and leave two hours later. Places to sit, street-level interest, windows as "eyes on the street', availability of restrooms, climate controlled places in inclement weather, and other facilities are what make people come to a place and stay there. All of these are provided by brick and mortar places. Food trucks do not. Food trucks are a great idea to serve office parks and other monstrosities that don't otherwise take into account the needs of the workers who might want to try something other than the company cafeteria. But in this case, a diverse Maplewood simply doesn't see food trucks offering benefit, and I think that's their right.
Luke Havel June 15, 2012 at 09:46 PM
I would think Food trucks pose the most risk going to large business complexes such as Sunnen Business Park or Enterprise Offices and preventing people from leaving for lunch. That is what they do at my office location in Des Peres. Its great for the people that work in those locations but bad for the businesses in the area because I never leave the parking lot. So the local eateries or businesses don't even get the opportunity to lure me in and get my business. Some Food Trucks are also on the shady side. But some are very nice, like Pi.
Liza June 19, 2012 at 04:01 AM
A friend mentioned the idea of having a weekly food truck day, possibly parking the trucks in the new park area on Sutton (the old site of the bus loop) so that the Maplewood community could come together and sample the great food. I thought it was a fabulous idea!

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